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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Wiener 5, San Francisco 3, Alisa Miller 2, Mr. Haley 2, Farrell 2, Us 1, Guideway 1, City 1, The Overheadlines 1, The Transport Workers Union 1, Mta 1, Ontime 1, Overheadlines 1, Sean Elsbernd 1, Mr. Risken 1, John Haley 1, Judah 1, John Ruers 1, Ferrell 1, Whoer 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    November 22, 2012
    1:00 - 1:30am PST  

shortly. >> president farrell: good morning. welcome to the regularly scheduled meeting of the government audit and oversight
committee. my name is sean elsbernd, chair, we are joined by supervisor chai and today we have supervisor mark ferrell sitting in. our clerk is alisa miller. please read one and two. >> alisa miller: item 1 is a miewn operations performance, item 2 is urging muni to prioritize eligible funds for maintenance. >> vice president elsbernd: do >> supervisor wiener: thank you, mr. chairman. i along with supervisors farrell, and carmen chiu to hiement this for muni to maintain its vehicles and invest in the system.
muni service has been deteriorating and it has to stop and it needs to stop now. muni is part of the life blood of san francisco. it carries approximately 600,000 people every day. for many people, particularly low income people, working class, people and seniors, muni is often the only way to get around. given critical importance of muni to the day-to-day life the voters in '99 voted to make sure sheun's top priority is to provide safe and convenient transit service to all neighborhoods. this isn't priority two or three. it's the top priority for the system. i'm sorry to say that muni has not been fulfilling that voter mandate and we as a city -- this is not about point fingers at muni
vehicles and often have no
backup vehicles when they break down. when broken down we've been slow to fix them, fix them inadequately and sometimes don't bother to fix them at all and they sit for years and years, unused. we've significantly reduced our rehabilitation of vehicles, including overhaul critical to the vehicle. switches and infrastructure are aging÷2jp? and fail. and we don't have nearly enough drivers. these deficiencies have dramatic consequences for the system and its reliability fr for the riding public. in august muni had a 52.7% on time performance. in the second half of october, muni missed 602 runs due to lack of operators on advantage 43 runs a day and 5% total runs.
on no single day did muni reach 98.7% of scheduled runs open muni completed 90%. riders see this every day when there are gaps in service, when they're forced to get off a vehicle when there is no replacement for a driver who is finishing his or her shift or when they have to jam themselves into an overcrowded vehicle. muni recently was approved for 6.7 million in regional transit performance initiative funding. this funding is to be used for improving reliability. there is no more effectiveádz-zy to chief these goals, this funding should be dedicated 100% to improving muni's deteriorating reliability by purchasing muni vehicles and improving muni's operations. the resolution i sponsored and
that is before us today to provides. the mta board of directors is considering a proposal to use a portion of this region a funding not for improving muni's reliability for the youth. i've been public in my skepticism of the free muni for youth program. my skepticism is based on the funding needs and deficit and my belief that the funding will come from muni operating money. worry now seeing that's the case, that muni is considering using some of this maintenance money for the free muni program rather than to invest in the system, purchase vehicles, rehabilitate vehicles, and over-wise make the system more reliable. once a free muni pilot program ends there will be enormous pressure to extend the program and that pressure almost certainly will include using
more funding using to improve muni's reliant. >> vice president elsbernd: i need to interrupt. we have a overflow room that is open across the the hall in the board chambers. these first two items on muni's performance will take a good 45 minutes to at least an hour. there are folks who are standing, that are here to testify on these items. if you are not here for these items, but are on the other items, we would really appreciate it if you would let those, who are standing, whoer here to testify, have your seats. you can go in the other room. it's on tv. when this item is done you will be able to come back in. it would help for a smoother flow and allow folks to testify. thank you very much.
>> supervisor wiener: as i was indicating once the muni pilot program ends, the pressure will include using for funding to include muni reliability. reasonable minds can differ on free, but even if one supports youth that's different than
supporting the use of scarce and critical maintenance and operational funding to pay for the free fare program. the most important thing we can do for all san franciscans and particular those those who are dependent on muni for their transportation needs, is to provide a reliable system, a free muni pass isn't worth much if the bus doesn't come. mr. chairman, we do have mr. risken and mr. haley from mta who are here to present if there are no additional comments from colleagues. thank you plrks risken. >> thank you. good morning, chairperson elsbernd, members of the committee, supervisor ferrell, ed risken transportation director in san francisco. this hearing, and for the support for public transportation in san francisco. i know that everybody's here, no matter how they feel about the resolution are here because they
want muni to be better. i concur with much of what supervise wiener said in his opening and i want to thank him for being a greater support of not just at muni but in terms of taxi reform, in terms of transportation funding and his role at the mtc as well as at the ts. so i think he framed the issue very well, and while i think me may have a slight difference of opinion in terms of this particular funding, i think most of what he said holds true, and we're grateful for his support and we're working in the same direction to make transit work the way it was metropolita metre board adopted the transit first policy in 1973 and when the voters established the mta in 1999. i have another board meeting,
that i'm already late for now so i'm going to try to move through this quickly. john haley, transit director and john ruers, finance, is here to answer questions. to try to speak to issues that were raised in the two items, and in some questions we got, i'm going to walk through, if we could go to the slides, just a quick overview of capital funding, a discussion of muni performance, and then speak about the tpi program, which, as supervisor wiener said, one of the purposes of is to increase ridership. so looking at the big picture of our capital funding, and sorry that that's not showing up right on the screen, we have undertaken a comprehensive' quy capital planning process that starts with a 20 year unconstrained plan that lays out
all of the needs for all of the assets that mta has. from that, we develop a five year capital improvement program, which is a fiscally constrained program and a a two year capital budget. the constrained budget is almost 24 billion to bring it into a state of good repair, calls for expansion and enhancement needs of the figure, nearly $6 billion, we would need every five years. when we bring that down to a five year cip program we have about $2 billion identified, outside of the central subway to meet our core needs, which are articulated at a project level detail in the two year capital budget, which the core of which is bringing the system into a state of good repair which directly impacts the reliability
of the system. so a way we've been trying to look at our needs, and prioritize is starting with the overall needs, as identified in the 20 year capital plan, looking at the asset life and other criteria in terms of safety and performance for all of the assets that we have, and really then being able to focus down to what we call the transit dependent assets or mission critical assets that we feel are the critical ones that we need to invest in to bring the system into a state of good repair. that need is roughly $250 million. so our goal has been, through our capital budget to identify in the order of $250 million a year, annually, for the state of good repair needs. this does not include things like the central subway or other expansion or enhancement projects. these are the core needs of the
these are the core needs of the system. five year cip and two year capital budget, we are able to more or less meet those needs, looking just within transit, we have about $220 million a year of core funding. and if you add in some other critical infrastructure such as traffic signalsrjsjz we're up to about 274. >> supervisor wiener: when you say meet those needs, are you suggesting all the different maintenance is cleared? it's that for the mission critical assets, we're investing at an annual level that would be required to bring those assets into a state of good repair. there are other needs of the system, some of our facilities, some of the kind of support systems that have, and will continue to have a become log -- >> supervisor wiener: but in terms of the actual transit assets, how many years would it
take for muni to have enough vehicles in good enough shape with enough operators to actually have the system be as reliable as we expect it to be? that's not going to happen because, in one year -- and i want to complement you for increasing that number. but it's not like we're going to get there with this one year -- >> right. so this is not a one year program. this is our five year cip, and we believe we'll need to continue to invest in this level for different asset classes, rails, versus overhead wires and signal switches. how long will it take, some have greater deferred needs than others. >> supervisor wiener: mta has informed me is -- >> the vehicle maintenance is significant. >> supervisor wiener: of the vehicles we have, that's not including the fact that we need more light rail vehicles, of the vehicles we have $420 million in
deferred maintenance. >> right. >> supervisor wiener: thank you. >> supervisor elsbernd: gruft to follow up, the numbers i'm hearing, 420 for example, this is what you need to have everything perfect. what i'm hearing you say on your charts here is about 221 million per year is what you need not to get to perfection but mission critical. >> it's mission critical for the core transit and assets. these are the vehicles, the rails, signals, switches, overheadlines. it's not the buildings, it's not these other systems that are outside -- >> supervisor elsbernd: so the big thing is how do you define mission critical? does mission critical mean, okay we're going to have 20% of our buses break down every day or we'll still have 80%. you can have definition of mission critical in your eyes -- that's a very amorphous
definition. what the at what point are we okay with things falling apart? >> we're never okay with things falling apart. >> supervisor wienerapart. >> supervisor elsbernd: at what point can things still break down? >> what is mission critical or not isn't the level of breakdown but the asset class that we're defining in our capital plan. so you see here, transit fixed guideway, which are the rails, the overheadlines, the things that the vehicles run along. that entire asset class is in the mission critical category. transit fleet, that entire asset class is in here. so what we're saying is that we need to main this level of investment to get our transit fleet, to get the guideways that support it, all into a state of good repair. supervisor wiener is right we don't spend 221 million this year and everything is good. this is an ongoing investment to bring it into a state of good
repair. we will continue to have a backlog on say our facilities, and other areas, you know, other buildings we own, including administrative buildings and other things that will continue to have a backlog, that this is really just the core of the transit system that we need to invest in. >> supervisor wiener: so in terms of your definition of mission critical, that doesn't mean that once we've met mission critical we're then going to be at 85% on time as mandated by the voters. >> so the 85% number, that was incorporated into prop e, as i understand it, had no kind of operational, technical, scientific or analytical basis. it was a number that was somewhat arbitrary, and to be honest, i don't know what it would take for our system to achieve 85%. a system that runs in the kind of operating environment that we do, mostly in mixed traffic, is
going to make that 85% number difficult to achieve, even with all the investment that we have. however, we believe that this level of core funding, this $250 million a year level, will have a significant impact on muni performance and not just the ontime performance, but the spacing of the buses, the reliability of the buses. and i'm going to talk a little more about that. you know, would we like to have twice as much funding, could we do a lot more with more funding, yes. we are trying to be smart and strategic with the resources that we have, recognizing that we're not going to have $500 million a year to build a new subway station for every station under market street at the end of its useful life. we're trying to be strategic and focus on things that will directly impact transit
performance. >> supervisor wiener: i understand. i think the question and the point i think we're agreeing on is that the current plan level of investment is not going to sort of complete the task, in terms of getting muni's vehicle fleet into the shape that it needs to be, to meet our needs. there's still more work to do beyond that. >> this level of investment would get the current fleet into a state of good repair. i don't know over what period of time. this does not account for additional fleet needs that we have to accommodate growth of the system. >> supervisor wiener: so it will get into good shape after a jpgz-q not sure how many years? >> yeah. i don't have that data with me. >> supervisor wiener: but if not after a year, it's after a number of years. >> that's correct. >> supervisor wiener: the point being, one of the items that we're talking about today is the gpi money, and i know you'll get there, that can be used for things like vehicle habitation. >> it can and we're recommending
that it does, a portion of it does. >> supervisor wiener: not like the portion being recommended for the free muni program would be somehow wasted if we dedicated it to vehicles. there are still immense needs there. >> that's correct. >> supervisor wiener: it would be better if riders had reliable service today as opposed to three or four years from now. >> i guess respectfully where we have perhaps a slight difference of opinion is i don't see this as a either/or. either we support one need or we support another. we have a multitude of needs. we have needs in our transit fleet. there are needs out in the community that you'll see what's happened to youth ridership. one of the goals of this particular grant program, this is $6.7 million out of a $250 million annual capital budget, just for comparison, is to increase ridership. so we have ridership goals, we have the other goal of the program is productivity. so we're trying to use these
dollars to address both. >> supervisor wiener: and i'll have questions for mr. haley about what different levels of funding can buy you in terms of new vehicles or rehabilitated vehicles. >> okay. on to performance, i think supervisor weer wiener gave a gd overview of where we've been. 85 percent, we're far below of what is acceptable. all i can do is concur with supervisor wiener that this is not acceptable and that this is -- our main focus as an agency, to improve this, because until performance improves and whether this is the best measure or not, it's probably a reasonable proxy for the performance that we all experience every day on muni. and we don't find this acceptable either. is percent of service delivered
you can see we're much closer to being able to meet this. there's different factors that keep us from being able to meet this need, some of which are capital, some of which are not. you can see on the buses, motor coaches and trolley coaches were pretty close. we've had challenges of late with cable car. this is more of an operating budget issue. budget issue. so while we do6 acceptable, and that we have barriers to improve performance, don't want to leave you with the impression that we're sitting on ourñ j@w hands, concerned aboutt we're going to do. there's a number of things that we're doing now, both through policy, through management, and through investment, to address these barriers so that we can start to see those charts on the previous two pages turn in an
upward direction. here's some of them. having the right number of operators at the right time to match the scheduled level of service, and i'll talk about that in a moment. but really focusing on operator availability is the key there. vehicle maintenance and infrastructure, and i think this is kind of at the heart of what we're talking about. we have changed the way that we procure vehicles. that we had in place a year ago and have updated it so we can get more vehicles sooner, and have a more regular schedule of vehicle procurement. right now, the majority of our fleet, or a great portion of the fleet that's towards the end of its useful life, and with a more its useful life, and with a more regular procurementg< entire fleet ages all at once. as i said, we are prioritizing
for the fleet but for the rails, for the i don't have head wires, the other things that support liability of the system. and i'll give you some examples the core infrastructure, we're working on improving the system speed and reliability. we are currently with funding from prop b, the streets bond from last year, we have funding for transit signal priority, we have the travel time reduction projects that are part of the transit effectiveness project currently undergoing environmental review. that review should be done within the next year or so. and then we will have a number of projects that will help make the service that we do have on the street faster and more efficient. we're identifying areas to do dedicated transit lanes and other improvements. we have some recent grant funding that's going to enable us to do that. we're about to do a pilot in
supervisor wiener's district on church between 18 and duboce to test that concept but more judah. a little more on availability, a very permanent t part of getting our service out. we did add a number of previously unfunded operator positions to the previous budget for this current year. we have been focusing on training. we have a lot of list on the list to become operators but our bandwidth has been limited so more training in the door and on service. we're also working closely with our partners at local 258, the transport workers union, to approve -- improve attendance of operators. i think we as management have not been consistent on how we've managed that so we're partnering with them to come up with some
consistent guidelines for how we do manage absenteeism and attendance. we also are looking at scheduling of the service, both generally looking at different times of year, different ways -- different kind of seasons to do a more fine grain and strategic seasonal adjustment so we don't have time, such as the week between christmas and new year's when we may be putting out more service than is actually needed which costs us more money and puts more wear and tear on the vehicles than is needed. we're also looking at individualized lines, where our schedule may not make sense based on different times of day or changes in traffic patterns or changes in routing. and these things will directly relate to either cost savings or improved ontime performance. >> supervisor elsbernd: is that over and beyond your analysis in the tep? >>